Nuestra Cocina Blends Culture and Cooking
In September 2020, the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) offered the first “Nuestra Cocina” for CHCCS families and staff. The online event was in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, and it was designed by the Latinx members of OEI as they invited participants into their own kitchens to introduce them to authentic Hispanic cuisine as a way to honor a rich culture. More than 40 people attended the inaugural “Nuestra Cocina,” or “in our kitchen.”
Because of the success of the Hispanic Heritage Month event, the OEI team decided to continue sessions as a series to provide a way to build community across the district.
The October event was called “Fall Foodies,” with three fall-themed recipes, pumpkin muffins, black bean and butternut squash stew and” Melted Witch Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Fruit Dip Dessert.”
November’s Nuestra Cocina brought a celebration of Indigenous cuisine, including bison pot roast with hominy and Wajopi, a frozen berry pudding. Holiday sweets featured in December were hojaldras and holiday pretzels. For the first time in the series, OEI created a cooking video on YouTube for people to view later.
Three recipes from different cultures signified the start of a new year in January, with an ambitious range from vegan collard greens to black-eyed peas with ham hocks and a guest’s recipe for Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish.
A special edition of Nuestra Cocina in February highlighted Black History Month with a session led by Spring Council of Mama Dip’ s Restaurant. For viewers fortunate enough to the live action of sweet potato biscuit making, there were many young and older bakers, asking Council for “stickiness” assessments and tips for shaping the dough into rounds. The smells may not have traveled through the internet, but it wasn’t hard to imagine how tasty those biscuits were.
On March 26 at 4:30, the next Nuestra Cocina will be offered. In order to follow the recipe release, and any other details, make sure to check @CHCCSEquity for updates, as well as the link to join.